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Old 09-20-2019, 09:31 PM
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Default I Need Parenting Advice

My oldest son is in 9th grade, and he is failing three classes. He doesn't turn in assignments or study for tests. He's smart enough, and he participates in class. He just doesn't do anything outside of class (and even the work he does in class is sloppy and halfway done.).

We have had this struggle since he entered middle school, but now that he's in high school it's gotten worse. He has a study hall and tells us that he's done all of his homework there, but clearly that isn't true.

We have a good relationship with him; he's not moody or emotional like teenagers often are, but we cannot get him to care about his grades. He isn't motivated by rewards or punishments. His teachers are supportive and encouraging, but it doesn't matter. He just doesn't care.

Surely someone else has been there & found a way to survive, right??? I'll take any advice; we're getting desperate.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:34 PM
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My kids are younger but, what I do with my son is anytime he has a C or below he has to sit and redo it. Then he can't do anything extra or have anything he wants unless he's doing well in school. I tell him if he wants things he has to earn them. Not sure if that will work here but, it's what I do.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:13 PM
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I could have written that question myself.
Our son is gifted... brilliant even. Middle school hit and BAM.... I thought he was just being lazy and irresponsible.

We talked to the pediatrician, school counselors, then I took him to a therapist. His behavior was okay, he just always seemed angry at us.

We tried punishments, rewards... etc.... nothing worked. Seeing someone helped a little. ... then we went on a vacation. Our kids do homework in their rooms by middle school, but on vacation, he was at the kitchen table in the condo. It was completely obvious to me that he had ADD. I started doing some reading up on it. I talked to his therapist. We decided to have him tested. Sure enough... ADD and ADHD.

Until that day on vacation, ADD had never even crossed my mind... he isn't hyper or a complete scatter brain, he get A's on every test with out doing any of the work.....

We tried to help him, lots of reminders,,, etc, helping stay organized... nothing worked. (Most families then look at diet changes, but he eats really healthy, lots of fresh fruits, veg and meats.... he has celiacs so most processed foods are a no-no) We started talking about medicine. It took us two horrible years before he would agree to try a low dose....

Finally this February, he started. I waited two weeks before I told his teachers. I needed to see if they saw a difference in his ability to focus and stay on task. I sent out a mass email to all of his teachers, they already knew he had ADD/ADHD, so we were in contact all the time. almost every teacher emailed back that day and one called me. They all noticed HUGE improvements.

He was failing most classes in February, by May he had good grades...A's-C's. So far this year he has all A's and B's. We are praying it continues.

Talk to his school counselors and teachers.... see if they can offer any insight.

It is very common for ADD to show up in middle school. Especially with boys.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:05 PM
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My oldest didn't care about her grades. She did what was necessary to pass her classes and advance on to the next grade. She wasn't failing her classes, but she wasn't applying any of the lessons she was learning and just playing around at school. Because she had a high GPA, we didn't do much with her other than reminded her when she went to college, she'd have to buckle down and start doing the work.

Fast forward to her first year paying for college by herself. This semester I've never seen this child study more in her life - ever! She made a post the other day on social media "I'm paying the school $5000 a semester to fail" and then proceeded to say she's going to do better. Know what? On her first Biology exam (she hate biology), she got a 96.7%, the third highest grade in her class. Because she realized she's paying money and needs to not fail or do the bare minimum--this is serious.

I'm really sorry you are going through this. It's so hard when you want your child to be successful and they don't understand why you are harping on them. One day, when they are much older, he'll appreciate all the love and support you are giving him during this stage of his life
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:39 PM
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I second StacyLynn's suggestion to have him evaluated for ADD, OCD, etc. He may resist, but you should insist. We went through this with our oldest - he is extremely smart, but just didn't seem to care. He was good at hiding all of his anxiety to everyone, even us. He avoided 'life' by reading and playing video games. I'm convinced he is very high-functioning autistic, but we have never had that officially diagnosed. Getting him on medication helped a lot. He was treated for OCD and depression at the end of high school. It was easier when he was younger and we could make him take it. He is an adult now and has chosen not to take medication, and we have to accept that. He is happy with where he is at, even if we would like more for him. He does still live in my house. He works full time and pays us rent and for other expenses. I know where he is and what he is doing and that he eats a decent meal at least once a day. Maybe he will want more for himself in the future, but maybe not and we need to be OK with that because I would always be worrying about him otherwise.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:00 PM
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My son is the same way (same grade too), of my 3 kids he's the smartest and gets good grades on his tests but he refuses to pass assignments in. It's REALLY frustrating when I KNOW he did the assignment, cause he did it in front of my face, but it still wasn't passed in. The only thing that has saved him is that teachers see his potential, and know what he's capable of so they are willing to pass him as long as he gets the work in by the end of the year. I always tell them not to give him a grade for it (because that's not really fair to the other students who are doing their work), but I still get him to pass stuff in and tell them to just use it as a way to know that he understands the work (but they grade them anyway). It's so frustrating..... especially since it makes the school year a nightmare to get through, I am sorry I have no advice of how to make it better, but hopefully knowing you are not alone in the struggle is somewhat comforting.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:08 PM
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I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this, Kellie. It sounds very frustrating.
I don't have any advice for you, but am sending big hugs to you!!
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:45 PM
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I'm sorry. Teens are hard. :P The only thing that worked here was to take away what was nearest and dearest to their hearts. Like their video games, car keys, fill in the blank. And even then it was a temporary fix, and they'd get lax again and we'd struggle all over again. Every year my son did seem to get a bit better about turning things in and keeping track of assignments etc. He is a freshman in college now and I"m hoping he can hold it together there....time will tell. We can't do it for them or make them do it. So hard!!!! Hugs!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:25 AM
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Thanks for your words of encouragement & advice! I've written to our member care team to see if we can have him evaluated by someone who knows stuff about this. I sat with him tonight while he did his homework, and I probably said (yelled) half a dozen times, "Stop being distracted!" So maybe there is something going on in his brain besides taking pleasure in driving me crazy. I'll let you know what we find out.
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsgirl View Post
Thanks for your words of encouragement & advice! I've written to our member care team to see if we can have him evaluated by someone who knows stuff about this. I sat with him tonight while he did his homework, and I probably said (yelled) half a dozen times, "Stop being distracted!" So maybe there is something going on in his brain besides taking pleasure in driving me crazy. I'll let you know what we find out.
Keeping my fingers crossed you get answers soon! And some prayers for patience... Lord knows I could have used some when we went through it!!
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsgirl View Post
Thanks for your words of encouragement & advice! I've written to our member care team to see if we can have him evaluated by someone who knows stuff about this. I sat with him tonight while he did his homework, and I probably said (yelled) half a dozen times, "Stop being distracted!" So maybe there is something going on in his brain besides taking pleasure in driving me crazy. I'll let you know what we find out.
I hope you can get some answers. Sending you
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:44 PM
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Taking the phone always eventually works for me.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:48 PM
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I completely feel you!!

My son is in 8th grade. He is super smart. His sister tested into ELP (gifted) and I'm certain he would too, if he had any interest. He is perfectly content to just get by, staying under the radar as much as possible. He doesn't care much about grades. Us saying we will pay him for his grades has helped somewhat. He went from C's and D's to A's and B's but I know he could be a straight A student super easy.

The other day I got a call from a teacher. Instead of turning in an outline for a paper my son turned in 5 pages of dialogue from the movie Shrek. He swears it was a mistake and he copied it into his paper instead of a new Google Doc, but I don't know if I believe that.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyLynn View Post
It is very common for ADD to show up in middle school. Especially with boys.
My son has never been diagnosed because we haven't pursued it, but I am 100% sure he has ADD. I have believed this since he was in kindergarten. However, his academics have not suffered. His grades may not always be the best but his test scores show that he is proficient in all areas. In fact, he at the top of his grade level for testing. None the less, I have to wonder if we should do something before high school. He is in 8th grade now. I don't want to medicate, but I do want to find some solutions for him.
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